John Breen (Dad)

1.) Celeste started all of this with running when we moved up here. We both started riding bikes here with a group of people a couple of times a week. The TRI group intrigued her and she started with that group. Soon after, I joined to be more active/structured.

2.) Getting out of the house and exercising because I wanted to do it and not because someone was telling me that I had to do it. What started out as “we need to keep fit” has become, “I want to keep fit. I want to be ‘younger next year’.” If I had to choose a success that is measurable – I would say riding the bike leg of an Olympic distance triathlon as part of a relay team.

3.) Benefits of having the family working out togehter? We all workout in the class at the same time and then come home for a recovery meal. We all get to bounce what we’ve done that day, or things we’ve done other days, off each other. And we get to gripe about what we’re doing together. The challenges…. yeah, everyone in the family knows what you’re supposed to do and heaven help you if you balk at getting it done (don’t ask how I know).

4.) I’m not sure if it’s any specific one of the other three that has kept me going. Celeste certainly gets a bunch of credit for getting me out there to start with.  Jennifer is always looking out for the old man at the start of each run (but then runs away to the finish well ahead of me). And PJ and his 30 min 5K on his first ever attempt. I think we all push each other, help each other, certainly tease each other, but most importantly, encourage each other.

5.) Two weeks of biking in Holland! Plus, a 10K in the next year. Duathalon (run/bike) maybe…

Celeste Breen (Mom)

1.) I’m the one who started this! After we moved here from Buffalo Grove, I couldn’t fit the park district aerobics classes into my schedule. So, I started by doing a little jogging and after I could make it more than a mile or so without stopping I tried a 5K race, just to see if I could do it.  When I saw Matt’s program being offered in Prairie Crossing, I thought it might be interesting to actually

2.) My biggest success to date has been completing my first half marathon. 13.1 miles was a big mental obstacle to overcome. Who in their right mind would do such a thing, and especially someone 50 years old who is not really an athlete? A person who would do such a thing … is me!

3.) One benefit is having someone to challenge you and/or give you encouragement.  Also to have a built-in partner for weight training sessions that could be boring alone.  A challenge is that you have someone who can be on your case when you would rather just be left alone.  It’s also hard to watch a loved one feel bad when they haven’t done well and you kind of pushed them into it.

4.) That would be PJ, at least this session, since he has made so much progress and I don’t want to lose to him! But, the whole family has kept me going, since they’ve encouraged my races and are always there for me, cheering and taking photographs.

5.) I hope to be able to get them to do at least one 10K race, but mostly hope they keep up with it for the health aspects.  For myself, I hope to do 3 half marathons this year and do the Music series of half marathons next year. Maybe next year I’ll try to learn to swim, but don’t count on it!

PJ Breen (Brother)

1.) My mom was the first to start running, then somehow she got my dad and sister hooked into it last year. I decided that if they could do it, I should at least try … and show them up if possible.

2.) I would say the sheer fact that I was able to complete a 5K and run the whole time. That was my only goal for ‘Race to Wrigley’. I didn’t have an ideal time I wanted to finish in. When I started training with TFP, I was barely able to run for a 1/2 mile before needing to walk. It’s amazing the changes that can be made over the course of a few months.

3.) I’d say the biggest benefit to working out with family is comfort and familiarity. You know what buttons you can push on each other for motivation. Plus, a bit of family competition causes us all to strive to out do one another; whether it be to lift 10 more pounds on an exercise or go running past them at the last second of a race.

4.) At first it was my mom, because I thought it was awesome that she has only been running a few years and is already doing 1/2 marathons, but as we went along it became my dad more so. I know that it wasn’t the easiest for him to start up, and he had some injuries/setbacks along the way, but he never gave up while doing it. He also constantly egged me on to lift more (I’d say he pushed me more than even Coach Matt and Coach Lauri!).

5.) Right now my summer is set on softball. However, I plan to keep running at a minimum twice a week and also plan to get some weight training in. I am hoping to be ready for another TFP group this fall!

Jennifer Breen (Sister)

1.) Mom started this, got Dad into it, and then got me into it because I was starting on my Master’s degree and someone I know once said running helped them get through their Master’s program.

2.) I ran the Race to Wrigley on April 13 in 34:00 – a minute plus faster than the Turkey Trot in November.

3.) We can push each other to work harder and work out on days we don’t feel like running/working out. You are held accountable to the other people in the family and can’t get away with anything. It’s always better to have someone else to work out with and we know we can totally trust each other so there isn’t a fear of “Who will help if I can’t make it?”

4.) They have all kept me going. PJ with his “I don’t work out” mentality – yet he’s made the most progress! Dad continues to work hard even when it’s not easy for him. Mom because she’s in MUCH better shape than me!

5.) One foot in front of the other and hope I don’t trip!